The Queen of Diamonds: Geraldine Ferraro, swathed in tiger skins and leather with a leopard on a leash. The Jack of Hearts: an angelic Jesse Jackson with a plug-in neon halo. The Queen of Spades: Nancy Reagan as Marie Antoinette, cake and all.
And that's only part of the Politicards deck.
It's a difficult skill, laughing at yourself, so there were many gracious protestations of appreciation at Gallery K on P Street NW last night, where more than 100 people squeezed past the caviar mousse and each other to inspect the original 54 drawings that decorate the satirical playing cards.
The Leopard Trainer, Angel and Queen were all absent, but a few other subjects, including Sen. Lowell Weicker (R-Conn.), Democratic Party Chairman Charles Manatt and ERA-foe Phyllis Schlafly, did show.
"I get off great," said conservative publisher Richard Viguerie, taking the "It-could-have-been worse" route. The three-dimensional Viguerie was wearing your basic gray suit. The Politicard Viguerie wears a red, white and blue bikini, has a bare, muscular chest, and is flexing a bicep from which sprouts a tiny American flag.
"I'm delighted to be wrapped in the American flag," he said. "My wife was thrilled when she saw it. She hasn't seen me with that much hair in years."
Schlafly stood in front of her likeness -- a woman in a stars-and-stripes Shirley Temple dress tapdancing while a baby cries in the foreground -- and agreed briskly when an onlooker said, "That doesn't quite do you justice."
"I don't think so," she said, went into a determined smile for the cameras and then said, "I think the whole thing's good for laughs.
"Oh, yes, I like laughs," she said. "Most of the people I debate don't have a good sense of humor. They're grim all the time. They take everything personally."
None of the Politicards subjects (who include NBC's Roger Mudd and CBS' Dan Rather as the Jokers) is taking it personally, according to Victor Kamber, head of the Kamber Group, the public relations firm that published the cards.
"They love it," he said. "Some have joked, asking why they were so low in the numbers. Ed Meese wrote and said five was his lucky number, so he was pleased."
Attorney general-designate Edwin Meese appears on his card in policeman's blues standing on the Monopoly board injunction, "Go to Jail."
"I tried to be nonpartisan," said Kamber, who discussed the design for the cards with artist Donald Gates. "He's the chief policeman and there is a question about his ethics. Some people can read it that he will send people to jail, others that he might go to jail . . ."
The idea behind the Ferraro card came from Kamber, a self-proclaimed Ferraro fan.
"I described her as someone who has an Ann-Margret quality," he said, "and she's also as tough as a tiger."
Ferraro reportedly approved.
Some of the originals have already been snatched up. A Nixon obsessive bought the drawing of his hero swaddled in tapes and a Mario Cuomo devotee the one of the New York governor as the Statue of Liberty. The originals, which are selling for $500 each, will be on display at the Gallery K only until tomorrow. But the cards, which include President Reagan in cowboy garb and Walter Mondale clutching a tail on a donkey, can be bought in stores around the city for $12 a deck.
The real-life Manatt, with his lapel graced with a Mondale-Ferraro button, his tie with Democratic donkeys and his breast pocket with a Dior signature, was more politically decorated than his card, a smiling face on the Two of Hearts.
"Often we get so far caught up in the system we don't take time to relax and have fun," he said, and disappeared into the crowd in search of fun.
While the Manatt card is pretty innocuous, not so Weicker's. He is in the process of being brought to his knees by an immense elephant's foot bearing down on his head.
"That's exactly how I felt in Dallas," he said and went off to congratulate the artist.